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Blackhawks vs Kings

(Page 3 of 5)
Blackhawks vs Kings - 2014 Western Conference Final

Blackhawks have won from down 3-1 before

Shawn Roarke - Director, Editorial

LOS ANGELES -- The Chicago Blackhawks have played 30 Stanley Cup Playoff games since they've faced a 3-1 series deficit. They also won and celebrated their second Stanley Cup in four seasons during that time.

Yet they haven't forgotten the hollow feeling they felt in the second round last season after dropping Game 4 to the underdog Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena. They remember the pit of fear in their stomachs when they boarded the plane for a short flight home and an uncertain future after being outscored 9-2 in three straight losses.

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Kings score two more on power play in Game 4

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

LOS ANGELES -- Recent history says teams that struggled heavily on the power play in the Stanley Cup Playoffs still went on to win the Cup. The Boston Bruins scored 10 power-play goals during their 2011 run. The Los Angeles Kings scored 12 in 2012, and three of those came in a series-clinching blowout win in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final.

The Kings remain a suffocating defensive team in these playoffs like they were in 2012, and they've added a potent power play that is capitalizing against what was one of the better penalty-killing units in the NHL.

Defenseman Jake Muzzin and captain Dustin Brown scored power-play goals in a three-goal first period Monday that led Los Angeles to a 5-2 win against the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 4 of the Western Conference Final. Game 5 of the best-of-7 series, which the Kings lead 3-1, is Wednesday at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

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Desperate Blackhawks know they can be better

Shawn Roarke - Director, Editorial

LOS ANGELES -- For the better part of five days, the Chicago Blackhawks have been looking for answers to why the Los Angeles Kings have been the better team in the Western Conference Final since the third period of Game 2.

The Blackhawks advanced several theories, suggesting it stemmed from a lack of discipline on their part, as well the need to win more of the 50-50 battles which define a series. They dismissed others, insisting fatigue was not an issue and denying the suggestion Los Angeles was the faster team.

Monday, during Game 4 at Staples Center, the answer was right in front of their faces after absorbing a 5-2 loss to the Kings and falling behind 3-1 in the best-of-7 series.

"Credit that team, they're a good team," Chicago captain Jonathan Toews said. "But we know we've got more."

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Blackhawks, Kings set up to contend for years

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Last season the Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings met in the Western Conference Final, but injuries for the Kings meant it was hardly a fair fight.

Two seasons ago, the Blackhawks and Kings could have met in the Western Conference Final, but Chicago was bounced in the first round by the Phoenix Coyotes.

The 2014 Western Conference Final is a bit like a heavyweight fight three years in the making. From about late February of 2012 until now, these have arguably been the two best teams in the West. They are at close to full strength, and this series is might turn into an epic showdown befitting of the clubs' success.

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Blackhawks hope Kane breaks out against Kings

Shawn Roarke - Director, Editorial

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- The Chicago Blackhawks have to be better in Game 4 of the Western Conference Final. Forward Patrick Kane knows the Blackhawks have little chance of being good enough if he doesn't lead the charge.

Kane has been strangely silent in the best-of-7 series against the Los Angeles Kings. He does not have a point and is minus-3. He has seven shots, but only a couple of them have been the type of Grade-A opportunities for which he is famous for producing.

Kane's struggles are just one of the reasons the Blackhawks find themselves in a 2-1 series hole heading into Game 4 on Monday (9 p.m. ET, NBCSN, RDS, TSN). But, he expects himself to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

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Penalties cost Blackhawks dearly in Game 3 loss

Shawn Roarke - Director, Editorial

LOS ANGELES -- For a champion, no detail is too little to escape detection.

For Duncan Keith, the stalwart defenseman of the Chicago Blackhawks and a driving force in the two titles they've won in the past four years, it is the stunning lack of discipline by his team which has caught his attention.

Most people see three penalties for the Blackhawks in the box score of Game 3 of the Western Conference Final and find that acceptable. After all, the Los Angeles Kings took four minors in the game.

But for Keith, those three rules infractions explained, in large part, why the Blackhawks lost 4-3 to the Kings on Saturday and now trail the best-of-7 series 2-1 entering Game 4 at Staples Center on Monday (9 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS).
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Kings' special teams are living up to their name

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown always measures his words in a way that makes it sound like he's fatigued, and that might have actually been the case immediately after Game 3 of the Western Conference Final on Saturday.

The Kings had just put on a penalty-killing clinic in holding the Chicago Blackhawks scoreless in eight minutes of power-play time, and Los Angeles continued its offensive outburst with another power-play goal and a second goal scored two seconds after its final extra-man opportunity expired. Each was vital in a 4-3 win that gave the Kings a 2-1 lead in the best-of-7 series that continues Monday at Staples Center (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

Brown, one of the Kings' penalty-killers, seemed almost out of breath.

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Blackhawks must follow Toews' lead

Shawn Roarke - Director, Editorial

LOS ANGELES -- Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews issued a pregame directive to his team Saturday. He wanted his teammates to have the fire in their bellies from melting down in Game 2, but combined with the poise in their mind shown in winning Game 1.

Then he went out and showed them what he meant, scoring two goals in the first period and turning in a dominant 20-minute performance.

Unfortunately, not enough of his teammates followed the lead of their No. 1 center and slowly but surely, the Los Angeles Kings dampened the spark produced by Toews, rallying for a 4-3 victory in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final at Staples Center.

The Kings now have a 2-1 lead in this best-of-7 series. Game 4 is here Monday (9 p.m. EST, NBCSN, TSN, RDS). The Blackhawks have some questions to answer before that game.

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Kings, Blackhawks know each other well

Shawn Roarke - Director, Editorial

LOS ANGELES -- There are few surprises between the two teams in the 2014 Western Conference Final.

They have played each other too often in too many big games to have secrets from each other. If there were a hidden wrinkle or two introduced by the Los Angeles Kings of the Chicago Blackhawks, it has been observed and game-planned against by the other.

The teams are tied at one win apiece in this best-of-7 series with Game 3 at Staples Center on Saturday (8 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, RDS).


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Kings' offense thriving due to success on faceoffs

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Most of the talk after Game 2 of the Western Conference Final has been about the offensive explosion by the Los Angeles Kings, who tied a franchise Stanley Cup Playoff record with five goals in the third period against the Chicago Blackhawks.

What might be overlooked is what helped lead to those goals.

In a series between two puck-possession teams, the Kings simply had the puck more in Game 2 because they won 43 faceoffs to Chicago's 27. That bodes well for Los Angeles going into Game 3 on Saturday night at Staples Center (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS). The best of-7-series is tied 1-1.

The Kings have strength down the middle with Anze Kopitar, who won 15 of 21 faceoffs in Game 2, and Jarret Stoll, who won 14 of 22 primarily against Chicago's Jonathan Toews, Michal Handzus and Marcus Kruger.


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Quote of the Day

I'm hoping Bob [Murray] didn't go out and get Dany Heatley just to get someone. I'm sure he's excited and motivated.

— Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau on general manager Bob Murray's decision to sign Dany Heatley